Michael Ross, “Does oil hinder democracy”, 53 (2001), pp. 325-361.

_Summary_: examines three aspects of the oil-impedes-democracy claim: the first is the claim’s validity; the claim’s geographic (just middle-east?) and sectoral (just oil?) validity; and the causal mechanism (rentier vs. repression vs. modernisation).

 

_Findings:_

*oil harms democracy, especially in poorer nations (341)

*this effect is not limited to the middle east (342)

*non-fuel mineral wealth also hurts democracy (341)

*tentative support for three causal mechanisms: (356)

**rentier: states with oil have less tax and more government spending on patronage to buy off groups that otherwise might push for democracy (335)

**repression: states with oil can afford to repress groups that challenge the authority of the government (335)

**modernisation: states with oil have populations with lower education, urbanisation, health and job specialisation levels (336)

 

 

*in addition to the reduction of economic growth and the increased likelihood of civil war that are part of the ‘resource curse,’ one should also include authoritarian rules.

 

 

_Method_: pooled time-series cross-national data from 113 states between 1971 and 1997.

 

_Critiques:_

*doesn’t account for different variants of Islam

*relationship may not necessarily be a direct one… could be exponential

*does the number of telephones and televisions give us a good sense of how much people are actually communicating?

*democracy presumed to be caused by the same set of circumstances all over the world, despite the time of democratisation and the then present global political realty